City Breaks In Belfast: Explore The Amazing Charm Of The Northern Irish Capital 

City Breaks In Belfast

Updated On: December 01, 2023 by   Nuala DaviesNuala Davies

Weekend city breaks in Belfast. You cannot beat them. Having lived in the city for nearly decade, there’s no doubt in my mind that Northern Ireland’s capital city has the best offerings for a fun weekend away.

A city full of rich history, diverse culture, inspiring places to visit and gorgeous pubs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

We’ve put together a two-day itinerary of our recommendations. Within this itinerary we will delve into some of the options for those of you seeking city breaks in Belfast… Heads up! You’ll be spoiled for choice. 

City Breaks In Belfast
City Breaks In Belfast: The Titanic museum, the SSE Arena and Harland and Wolfe crane on a cold winter morning. Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Day 1: City Breaks In Belfast: Exploring The History Of Shipmaking In The City

Morning: Cultural Immersion

We recommend starting off your city break relishing in the amazing history of Belfast. What better way than to visit Titanic Belfast. This iconic visitor attraction first opened its doors in 2012 and ever since has been a must see when on a break in the city. 

This world-class museum is dedicated to retelling the Titanic story. Once inside you’ll explore not only mechanics behind the makings of the ship but an insight into the lives of the Belfast people that made it come to life. 

Whilst here take the opportunity to stroll around the Hamilton Dock, home to the SS Nomadic. The last remaining White Star Line Ship in the world. The small ship has been restored to her former glory and is the perfect opportunity to see real history up close. 

Midday To Late Afternoon: Take A Leisurely Stroll

Weather permitting, I recommend a brisk walk through the dock and over the Queen’s Bridge and towards the city centre, spying iconic statues ‘The Big Fish’ and ‘Nuala with the Hula’ on your travels. 

Once in the centre of the city, consider either jumping in a black taxi or the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. This ticket will allow you to travel round the city and see the landmarks, hopping on and off as and when needed. You can jump on at Belfast City Hall

From here head to Botanic Gardens. This area of the city is home to Queen’s University, Botanic Gardens, The Palm House, The Ulster Museum, The QFT, lots of vintage shops and so much more. Some ideas for the afternoon include:

  • Taking a tour of the Ulster Museum.
  • Walking through the Botanic Gardens and visiting the Palm House.
  • Strolling through the iconic buildings at Queen’s University. 
  • Vintage and book shopping along Botanic Avenue.
  • Having a delicious lunch at the famous Maggie Mays cafe.
City Breaks In Belfast
City Breaks In Belfast: The Palm House in Botanic Gardens. Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Evening: Fuel Up With A Fantastic Dinner So You Can Dance The Night Away

After a pit stop back to your hotel to change and refresh, it’s time to don your glad rags and watch the city come to life.

City breaks in Belfast are always full of ‘craic’, as the residents of the city welcome you to enjoy the atmosphere and soak up the fun. 

  • Start with an early dinner at the amazing Italian restaurant Coppi. This restaurant is situated in Saint Anne’s Square, right in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter
  • Consider seeing live music or a show at the Mac Theatre. (Handily, it is situated right beside the restaurant)
  • After the show, the party begins! I recommend a pub crawl through some of Belfast’s most iconic and historic bars, to name a few: The Duke of York, Kelly’s Cellars or Maddens.
City Breaks In Belfast: A Tour Of The Cathedral Quarter

Day 2: Discovering Belfast’s Charm

Morning: A Scenic Start

Start the day strong with a hearty breakfast at Established. Their delicious breakfast and excellent coffee will blow off the cobwebs from the night before and set you up for the adventures ahead! 

After breakfast, take the chance to go on a famous Belfast Black Taxi Tour. If you can take anything away from this blog, please not that this experience is an absolute essential part of city breaks in Belfast. 

On the tour you will be guided around the city by a local, seeing the iconic political murals and peace walls. These landmarks are an extremely important part of Belfast history

Afternoon: Winding Down

After your black taxi tour you have many options, depending on your mood. 

  • Want to see more Belfast history? Visit to the Crumlin Road Gaol.
  • Feel like treating yourself to something fancy? Have afternoon tea in The Merchant Hotel.
  • Want to soak up more of the city? Take a visit to Saint George’s Market
  • Would you like to see more culture? Check out what shows or gigs are on offer at The Lyric, Accidental Theatre, Cabaret Supperclub or The Grand Opera House
City Breaks In Belfast: A Tour Of Saint George’s Market

Evening: Rest, Relax and Reflect

For your last meal in the big smoke, I suggest a trip to the amazing Trademarket. Here you can sample cocktails, local beers and food from independent traders. From fish and chips to bagels, these independent, local food heroes have lots of options for you to choose from. 

City Breaks In Belfast: The Hardest Part Is Going Home

Whilst we might be a little bit biased, if there’s one thing we know about the amazing city of Belfast, it’s that two days is just not enough. This historic city has so much to offer and is packed full of wonderful, kind hearted people. 

So before you travel home, take some time to sit down in a cosy pub in The Gaeltacht Quarter. Get a pint of Guinness, plant yourselves in front of a roaring fire and reflect on what you might like to visit next time you take a city break here. There’s no place like Belfast.

City Breaks In Belfast: A Tour Of The Gaeltacht Quarter

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